Getting Good Quick - Super Smash Bros. Melee

Within two years of competiting in Super Smash Bros Melee (SSBM), I went from an absolute beginner to one of the top players in California, taking consistent matches off 10+ year veterans in the scene.

After 1 year of competing, I placed 97th (out of 2,372) at the biggest SSBM tournament of all time (EVO 2016). After 2 years of competing, I placed 65th at both EVO 2017 (1,428 entrants) and Big House 7 (1,522 entrants).

I poured everything I had into being the best player I could be in the shortest amount of time. Aside from the mechanical complexity and intricacies of character matchups in the game, SSBM taught me how to apply myself efficiently towards growth and how to effectively optimize performance.

Keys to Getting Good Quick

The following topics were the most impactful to my growth and results as a player. While these keys specifically apply to my experience as an SSBM player, I intend to write them in a way that would be generally applicable to the mastery of any art.

  1. Learning Theory: Four Stages of Competence
    Systematically working through a pipeline of competency
  2. Prioritization with Video Review
    Reflecting on mistakes and the prioritization of improvement
  3. Mastering Ego
    Understanding of self and manipulating your opponents self
  4. Asking for Help
    Standing on the shoulders of giants and getting second opinions
  5. Tournament Preparation
    Mental and physical preparation for peak performance